Kinetics of passivity and chloride-induced depassivation of iron exposed to simulated concrete pore solutions were studied using electrochemical quartz crystal nanobalance (EQCN), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and open circuit potential (OCP) monitoring. Passivation followed a two-stage logarithmic film formation process: protective film mostly formed within the first 10 min to 20 min of exposure to the passivating solutions as indicated by a sharp mass increase accompanied by impedance and phase angle data showing trends toward passivation. After this initial passivation period, mass continued to increase, albeit at a significantly slower rate. Electrochemical indicators during this period remained relatively constant and stable, suggesting that the iron remained passive. The mass increase during the post-passivation period was indicative of the formation of additional oxides, while relative stability of the OCP, impedance and phase angle measurements suggested that these oxides were likely more porous, and therefore, less protective than those that had formed during the first 10 min to 20 min. Chloride addition initially caused mass gain while all electrochemical indicators indicated stable passivity, suggesting an induction period before the first signs of pitting. Mass increase during this period supports the predictions of depassivation models that hypothesize the adsorption and ingress of chlorides though the outer layers of oxides.

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Keywords Carbon steel, Chloride, Concrete, Depassivation, EQCN, Iron, Passivation
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Journal Corrosion
Gunay, H.B, Isgor, O.B. (O. Burkan), & Ghods, P. (Pouria). (2015). Kinetics of passivation and chloride-induced depassivation of iron in simulated concrete pore solutions using electrochemical quartz crystal nanobalance. Corrosion, 71(5), 615–627. doi:10.5006/1346